Saturday, December 2, 2023, the CAIS Tournament in Winnipeg. Not only was that the last basketball game your Spartans played before this past Thursday’s RSEQ trip to Le Boise in Victoriaville; that was also the last day the whole team even practiced together. Immediately upon their return from CAIS, our Grade 12s started preparing for exams, i.e. no athletics, just studying.
Which means our four Grade 12s didn’t touch a basketball for five and a half weeks(!) before the two practices we squeezed in before this Boise game.
Even our non-Grade 12s have been completely off since December 19, i.e. three weeks ago. Meaning 21 straight days of turkey, ham, potatoes, stuffing and dessert, balanced by a heaping helping of absolutely no exercise.
Why the above summary? Because, man oh man, are we out of shape.
On Thursday, it took us about 4 minutes of game time to look tired. By the second quarter, we weren’t fast breaking anymore. Despite taking 10 minutes at halftime, we came out in the third quarter just as tired, just as slow. No offensive rebounds, no 50/50 wins. Our opponents looked quick and crisp, while we were breathing heavily and running in quicksand on our way to a desultory 33-24 loss.
There were a few bright spots. Hayley Wolfe played an intelligent game, keeping the team organized offensively, defensively and on inbounds plays. Majo Garza provided a late spark with a three-pointer followed immediately by a steal. And Player Of The Game Valerie Lin was a disruptive buzzsaw on defence, playing with speed and Lin-tensity and deflecting a Lin-sane amount of passes.
That said, we know what our New Year’s resolution is for the next little while – FITNESS. Strategy means nothing if you’re not fit. X’s and O’s can’t help you if you can’t sprint up and down the court and play with speed and power. If you’re not in shape, you get tired quickly. When you’re tired, you’re slow and weak. When you’re slow and weak, it’s hard to try your best. And if you can’t give your best, the simple things seem hard and the hard things seem impossible.
The good news is we only have to look back five and a half weeks, to that great game we played vs LCC in the CAIS semi-final to see what we’re capable of. We know how hard and how well we can play. We just need to get back in shape so we can get back to that.
And hey, a few ‘intermission’ suicides never really hurt anybody!